Craft Brewer Garr Schwartz Aims to Re-Enter the Nashville Market With Gypsy Brews
POSTED BY CHRIS CHAMBERLAIN
ON FRI, JUL 1, 2016 AT 10:12 AM
You might remember Garr Schwartz as one of the founders and the original master brewer at Tennessee Brew Works, where he earned a reputation for developing extremely food-friendly beers that featured culinary ingredients such as lime zest and roasted sweet potatoes. Schwartz left TBW a while back to head in a different direction and has recently emerged with a plan to release his own line of brews under the Garr's Beer Co. label.
While he doesn't have a new brewery yet, there is a tradition...
...of "gypsy brewing," where artisans travel to other facilities to brew their own recipes. Schwartz has spent quite a bit of time developing new recipes, finding equipment to brew on and lining up local distribution in advance of releasing his beers back into the Nashville market. After all that work, he finally has a plan in motion, and you should see the first of Garr's Beer Co. products hitting bars in Nashville around the middle of July. He also plans to release his beer in cans sometime in the near future. Lipman will be his local distributor.
Schwartz traveled to Washington, D.C., to brew his first batch after investigating a few options in Colorado. He's still looking at other potential locations, truly embodying the life of a gypsy brewer. His first release will be a Lemon Lime Basil Kölsch, a delicious summer beer that I have been fortunate enough to sample in advance when Schwartz was still trying out recipes in small scale.
Instead of relying on actual lemons and limes for the citrus bite, Schwartz eschewed all that zesting in favor of utilizing lemon and lime basil, grown locally by Carter Greens. Schwartz tries to feed his family with organic local food whenever possible, and he discovered these particular basil varieties during a weekly visit to the Franklin Farmers Market. The essential oils of the basil play nicely with the aromatic hops to create a crisp beer that should pair well with lighter summer fare or stand on its own cold in a growler straight out of the cooler on a sweltering Saturday. Since the hops don't take the forward role, the resulting beer is probably more approachable than some of the hoppier IPAs.
I don't want to give away all the secrets of other beers that Schwartz has planned until he nails down the logistics of scaling up, but I can hint about some delicious recipes I sampled that feature other unique basils and teas to add depth and flavor to the malt and hops. Schwartz doesn't intend to open a local commercial-scale brewery gain anytime soon, but you might see him open his own sort of beer test kitchen where customers can sample his experiments in seasonal recipes before he ramps them up to full-production gypsy-brewing batches.
If the next release is what I think it might be, there's something else really special on the horizon which I'll be happy to share with you when it comes to fruition. But I might not share my growler.
Click here to see article as originally published in the Nashville Scene